Juniper Tar releases its debut record this week on Milwaukee-based Bus Stop Records and according to the band's singer and guitarist Jason Mohr, J.T. took a different approach.
"To The Trees" was recorded is Prentice, way up north, in April.
"The idea was to stay out of the recording studio environment and invite the room where the song is recorded to be the fifth band member," says Mohr. "This allowed for the songs to be played live in one room where separation and instrument tracking would not become a separate process.
The eight-song disc collects the best songs the band has written and performed since it formed in 2005. But the material is also related, Mohr says.
"The songs on ‘To the Trees' come together in a collage with a unifying theme of separation and solitude, sometimes longing for it while other times cursing it."
Although firmly rooted in Americana, Juniper Tar's sound is more complex; too slippery to attach the alt.country label to. There are cascading guitars and ethereal elements, too, bringing depth and expanse to a Son Volt-ish roots rock style.
A limited edition 7" of "The Mouths of Fields" comes out on Bus Stop in spring. The flipside has a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Rex's Blues"
The band -- which also includes guitarist Aaron Schleicher, bassist Ryan Schleicher and drummer Tuc Krueger -- hosts a listening party at Burnhearts in Bay View on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. Admission is free.
The CD release gig is Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at Turner Hall Ballroom with Limbeck and John Ralston. Admission is $10.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.